Sunday, September 6, 2009

Little Chef is growing up

As of late my Sunday morning routine has changed from "coffee and paper" to "received text from Chef, must go in early." His texts have become so regular that I am now expecting them, so when the schedule says I am to be at work Saturday and/or Sunday afternoon, I know not to plan anything too involved for the morning as I'll likely have to show up for work early.

And so it is that on this particular Sunday I will be pulling another long shift. I leave, Starbucks in hand, to face the lunch rush and work with the one-woman show that is the breakfast cook. Upon arrival I learn that breakfast was not too busy -- a good indication on what lunch would be like -- so I breathe a sigh of relief. It means I have time to get a handle on all the prep. So I cut up all the chicken, portion the rice, make the chipotle mayo and the spicy ranch, as well as the pulled pork. At 1 pm our breakfast cook left and I, having finished all the prep, took over on line. It never got so busy that I couldn't handle it and I would put out food for the next two hours, all alone. Working the entire line all by myself is quite the accomplishment, really. Although I didn't get a huge rush, the orders were coming in steadily. I never got in the weeds and, best of all, I knew how to make all the dishes that were ordered, didn't have to ask any questions. It really is amazing to think of the progress I've made since I started. Last season I was in awe of the speed with which these guys were putting out food. They were flying! As for me, I am sure I was hindering more than helping, at least for the first month or so. Now it feels like little Chef's all grown up, running the line all by herself!

Dinner was a different story. We got rather busy and it took all four of us to get the job done. I have to say I was looking forward to getting out of there early, skip the sweeping and mopping business just this one time. Unfortunately no such luck. I really must find a way to ask the Sous-chef why this is always my job. There's this one guy who I wonder if he even knows where the mop is. I have never ever seen him mop. Not this season and not last season. Every night he disappears just as we start cleaning and shows up again at the end, when we're done. Somehow he gets away with it every single night. I wonder if the Sous even notices? Like... c'mon, what's the deal here?

But enough with the whining. Time for me to get a drink, put my feet up and let Michael Ruhlman transport me again to the kitchens and classrooms of the Culinary Institute of America. Until tomorrow...

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